Friday, July 3, 2009

Supermarket Sweep

I don't think I followed up on this before, but the week after school let out, I had a mission. I made a list of the items we most often purchase at the store. We've been most recently going consistently to Whole Foods to do our shopping. Everyone always commented that Whole Foods was always more expensive, and I wasn't so sure. So, with the time available, I wanted to find out. Also, a new natural foods store will be opening right up the road (next to the new Toys R Us/Babies R Us superstore) and I wanted to have a basis for comparison when we check that out. The biggest drawback I've felt about Whole Foods is the distance and therefore gas we need to use to get there on a weekly basis. On the other hand, I want to support organic practices whenever possible. So, with those things in mind, I compared the prices of products at Wegmans, Giant, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe's. I was trying for apples to apples whenever possible, so I wasn't looking at the cost of conventional items, only organic or the same brands we've come to know and love whenever possible. So, I started at Wegman's and recorded unit prices, then did the same at Giant. When I arrived at Whole Foods, I quickly realized that the units were different - ugh! I also went to Trader Joe's in between and they didn't have unit prices at all, just total cost listed - double ugh! After getting the total prices at Whole Foods, I went back to Wegmans and Giant to check on the items that would be less expensive there to double check. Overall, there were still items available for the lowest cost at Whole Foods - surprise! I created a list of which items we'll (ideally, anyway) get at each place and a comprehensive list of the prices found at each store so that when the new store opens up we can compare there too. Jeff was so pleased (note the sarcasm) when he asked, "So which store do we go to?" "All 3!" Wegmans is on the way home from work for Jeff so we'll consolidate trips that way, and any trips to Whole Foods will be more to stock up in bulk on items so that we don't have to go there once a week as we were before and Giant...well, that's within walking distance, so no biggie. If you're interested in the prices I found, just let me know and I'll forward the list your way. Now - this is specific to us, and does not include every item in the store. If you're wondering about how much you spend on groceries, I highly suggest this as a way to find the lowest cost without sacrificing the quality of your food.

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